(Continued from The Guest III)
I want to apologize for the delay in releasing this copy. My day job was very demanding this week, all the way to Saturday. I was determined to complete the book on Sunday afternoon, but my daughter complained that I was working too hard and I had to stop for a while to be with her and her sister.
Every now and then stuff like this may happen, kindly bear with me.
“What is the problem?” Gabriel asks, concern written all over his face.
“I have just heard that a friend of mine has passed on, babe,” Patricia says quickly. “It has disoriented me. I didn’t even realize I came to see a client looking so unkempt.”
Tears start rolling down her cheeks. The tears come naturally enough. She feels guilty that she has cheated on this man who has been so kind to her. Gabriel hesitates. He is at a loss as to what he should do in the circumstances, but it only takes a moment before he makes up his mind. He does not show affection publicly, but he is moved by his wife’s tears. He moves to hug her, a move that she is totally unprepared for.
Patricia realizes that she cannot allow her husband to get in contact with her body. She has been with another man, and Gabriel might smell an unfamiliar scent and get suspicious. She breaks down into a wail and runs towards the house. Once she gets into the house, she startles the children, and the three-year-old begins crying. But she doesn’t stop. She runs to the master bedroom and locks herself in.
She knows that there are a couple of things that she needs to do. First, she has to get her story straight. She has lied to Gabriel that there is a friend of hers who is dead. She has to create that friend in her mind. It has to be someone close enough to her for her to be so affected by his or her death, but it also has to be someone Gabriel has never met for a valid reason.
The second thing she has to do is to take a shower. She has to cleanse her body of every trace of Chris. But she knows that there is one part of her body that a shower will not cleanse: her mind. She cannot stop thinking about Chris. She enjoyed being in his arms, and she enjoyed making love to him. She wants to do it again and again.
The one thing she is wondering is whether she rushed into getting married. Gabriel is a good man, but she doesn’t really love him. He has never filled her stomach with butterflies, the way Chris does. Marrying him was a practical decision. Like Chris correctly pointed out, she was desperate for love and care, and he was there offering marriage and the security that would come with it. She mistook his offer for love, and she accepted it.
But he probably did not love her either. He had just reached an age where he needed a wife, and she was available. Men like Gabriel treat marriage like that. They need a woman they can call “mama” when bragging about their families. “Mama” is usually the tame, submissive wife who does the bidding of the head of the house. But as Chris said, they usually have mistresses somewhere. They always have little girls tucked away somewhere who they shower with all the affection.
Gabriel cannot be the exception. There must be a girl somewhere that he sleeps with. A girl he showers affection with. Unfortunately, men like Gabriel don’t get caught easily because they are very careful. It is only after they die that a woman will show up with children who look like him. After speaking to Chris, she has realized that she deserves better. She deserves to be with a man who will treat her like the baby girl she is, not like “mama”.
And that man is Chris.
Patricia remembers the very first time she met him. He had just been hired by the school as a peer teacher. At that time peer teachers were common. Schools were scrambling to hire top students who were set to join university. At the time, government-sponsored students stayed for about two years after KCSE results were announced before joining the university.
The school where Patricia was working was a small day school, and the top student usually got a C plain or a C minus. Only one student in the history of the school had managed a B-, and he was the legend of the school. Chris was the first peer teacher the school had ever hired, and he was not an alumnus. None of the school’s alumni deserved to be peer teachers.
Chris was an alumnus of St. Thomas Moore Nguviu Boys High School. He had managed an A- in KCSE and was waiting for admission into a university. The first time Patricia saw him was that very first day when he reported. He had to pass by the headteacher’s office, and she was the one manning the entrance. He was polite and respectful, and he did not flirt. She liked him instantly. He was handsome and confident and she remembers thinking that they would make a good couple. But she also remembers thinking that a fine young man like him probably had a girlfriend of his level, meaning a girl who had qualified for university.
There was a complication on her part as well. She did not have a boyfriend she could speak loudly about, but she was sleeping with her boss, the school head teacher. Mr. Gituamba had hired her because she was his girlfriend. Before that, she had been an MPESA attendant. She had been living with her parents when they started dating because she was not earning enough to allow her to rent her house.
But Gituamba rented a house for her when they started an affair, and a month later he hired her as his secretary. The former secretary was transferred to the store as the assistant storekeeper. The relationship could not be made public because Gituamba was a married man and a church elder. Although he paid her rent, he never visited her house because it was too near the school. He rented the house for her because he wanted her to have the freedom to go and spend the night with him without having to give explanations to her parents.
They used to spend their nights in hotels in Embu and Kerugoya. It was understood that their relationship was purely a sexual one. Gituamba did not give any lies about leaving his wife. He only told her that he was dissatisfied with his sexual life at home and wanted someone who would make up for it. In return, she got a job, her rent was paid and she occasionally got cash gifts. She did not like Gituamba, but the arrangement made perfect sense for her, a girl who was trying to escape poverty.
But she knew she would need a family of her own, so when Chris started hitting on her, she did not resist. They soon started sleeping together, this time in her house. It was a careful balancing act for her because she did not want either man to know about the other. None asked about the other until she became pregnant.
Chris disappeared, and she initially pretended that the baby was Gituamba’s, even though she knew it was Chris’s. Gituamba always used protection, but Chris never did. But condoms fail, so Gituamba did not get suspicious when she told him she was pregnant for him. She kept that line even after her pregnancy started showing. By then, Chris had already disappeared. He had not even bothered to formally resign from his job. Gituamba continued to support her, believing that the child was his. Things came to a head when, while she was on maternity leave, someone told him about her relationship with Chris.
He called her and demanded to know whether it was true. She denied it. But a couple of days later he fired her and cut off all the support he had been giving her.
But things do turn around.
Now, Chris, the love of her life, has come back for her. Back then she needed Gituamba because Chris was broke and couldn’t support her. In any case, she was the one who was supporting him, because he always ate breakfast and dinner at her house. Lunch was provided in school. They always spent their evenings together. Even when she went to be with Gituamba (she always told him that she was going to see her parents) she always left food ready in her house for him to eat.
Chris and Patricia were neighbors, and that made things easier. Chris had rented a house next to hers. Patricia did not mind supporting Chris. She saw him as her future. He would get a degree, get a good job and that would change her life forever. Getting pregnant for him was also part of her strategy. She wanted to tie him down with a child just in case he went to the university and got confused by the girls he met there. It was not like he was a miser. He took her on the occasional date, and he bought her cheap but thoughtful gifts now and then. He was not earning much, but he was trying. Besides, she had more than she needed, thanks to Gituamba. She was investing for the future.
Her heart was broken when he disappeared. But he is back, with everything she had dreamed of back then. He has told her that he is an architect, with two companies under his name. One is an architectural firm, his main business, and the other is a real estate company. He is also a consultant, and he has come to facilitate an architectural workshop at the University of Embu.
He is willing to take her with him to Nairobi after the end of the workshop. He told her that he owns a home in Karen, Nairobi. He has agreed to take her with all three children, not just the twins. Patricia has already made up her mind: she will leave. Patricia can already picture herself joining the class of rich women in the city. She will stop being a small-town landlady and join the elite. She cannot say no to that. She will not even tell Gabriel that she is leaving. She will just leave.
She can hear Gabriel comforting their son in the sitting room, and a wave of guilt washes over her. He will be heartbroken when she leaves. But he is a grown man. He will get a chance to find another wife or promote his mistress to wife status.
(This is the last free chapter of the story. To find out what became of Gabriel’s family kindly follow the instructions below to buy a copy of the novella for only Kshs. 100)
Image by Pexels from Pixabay: https://pixabay.com/photos/auto-automobile-automotive-bumper-1869313/
To purchase any of the books in our e-bookstore (including the latest one, The Guest), you can follow either one of two main ways:
- MPESA Automated Digital Payment Method. Log in to the bookstore- register if you are new-(https://www.maroncha.com/book-store ). Select the book. Add to cart, check out then pay by inserting your number on the space provided then clicking ‘confirm’. You will be able to download instantly from the bookstore. A copy will also be automatically sent to your email.
- Pay Via Till Number. Log in to the bookstore- register if you are new-(https://www.maroncha.com/book-store ). Select the book. Add to cart, check out then pay via the Buy Goods Till Number provided. Once you get the message from MPESA, insert the MPESA code on the space provided then click ‘Validate Code’. You will be able to download instantly from the bookstore. A copy will also be automatically sent to your email.
If you are completely unable to use the above two methods, you can still purchase your copy manually. The only disadvantage of this method is that you will have to wait for a few hours before you get your copy. But eventually it will come.
- Pay Kshs. 100 to Buy Goods Till Number 297264 and send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org (or DM Sanctuary Side on Facebook) stating your MPESA name. Use the name of the book as the subject of your email. If you send a DM to Sanctuary Side on Facebook, kindly also include your email address. I will send your copy once I verify your payment.
- Pay Kshs. 100 to Buy Goods Till Number 297264 and send an SMS/WhatsApp message to 0105571156 stating your MPESA name and the name of the book you wish to purchase. I will send your copy once I verify your payment.
Remember you can always DM Sanctuary Side on Facebook, email me at email@example.com or send a WhatsApp message to 0105571156 if you have a query or feedback.
See you all on Wednesday. –Edward.